The European Commission has proposed a number of restrictions to the use of glyphosate following its last-minute decision this week to extend its authorisation.

The Commission has accused EU Member States of failing to take responsibility for the decision on an extension or its license.

It has, in turn, decided to extend the approval of the herbicide for a limited period of time, until European Agency for Chemical Products (ECHA) issues its opinion, which is expected by the end of 2017 at the latest.

However, it has also proposed to the Member States a second text to restrict the conditions of use of glyphosate in the EU.

The Commission presented to Member States a series of recommendations around the use of glyphosate. The decision will contain three clear recommendations:

1) ban a co-formulant called POE-tallowamine from glyphosate based products;
2) minimise the use of the substance in public parks, public playgrounds and gardens; and,
3) minimise the pre-harvest use of glyphosate.

However, it said that it is up to Member States to decide upon and enforce such measures and discussions to-date with Member States have proved inconclusive.

Following the failure of Member States to reach a decision over the past number of months, the Commission had until June 30 to decide whether or not to renew the chemical.

If they had decided not to renew it, or if a decision hadn’t been reached, then Member States would have had to withdraw the authorisations for plant protection products containing glyphosate from their market.

Glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient in the Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, has hit the headlines over the past year regarding its carcinogenicity to humans.